New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sent a February 11th letter to United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Acting Administrator Catherine McCabe asking that a Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) Maximum Contaminant Level (“MCL”) be set for 1,4-dioxane.

Governor Cuomo states that:

. . .Currently, New York and many other states are working to address emerging unregulated contaminants like 1,4-dioxane, a compound commonly used in industrial activity and found in a wide range of everyday products.

EPA has the primary authority under the SDWA to regulate drinking water quality.

The letter contends that New York has been given “shifting, contradictory guidance from the federal government, which has left communities anxious, fearful, and confused.” Also cited is the State’s creation of a Water Quality Rapid Response Team to “identify contamination wherever it occurs and to develop a comprehensive plan for action.” This is stated to be accompanied by an Executive Budget which will include a $2 billion investment in New York water infrastructure.

To address what is characterized as an “inadequate federal monitoring program” New York states it is implementing an “aggressive action plan to ensure sampling of all public water systems on Long Island no matter their size.” The letter asks EPA for “actionable guidance” on best practices for removing the compound from drinking water, investment in cutting-edge treatment technologies, and the setting of an MCL.

The State projects convening an advisory panel of experts to set an MCL at the state level if EPA “fails to act in a timely manner.”

A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.